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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Thriller > Supernatural > Amityville II - The Posession (Region Zero PAL edition)

Amityville II: The Possession (Region 0 - PAL Collectors Edition)


Picture: B     Sound: B+     Extras: B-     Film: B-



PLEASE NOTE: This is a DVD that can only be operated on machines capable of playing back DVDs set for Region Zero and the PAL format, and can be ordered from our friends at Xploited Cinema through their website:




They have this and hundreds of other great, usually very hard to get titles that are often long overdo to his the U.S. DVD market.  Be sure to visit their site for more details on that as well.



This should be the last Amityville review that I undertake for some time now, and I’ve seen enough of these films in the past few months than most people will see in a lifetime.  This entry in the series wasn’t terribly bad, but perhaps a little bit mislead in its intentions.  Much like all of the earliest entries into this series, this film finds a lot of its tricks taken directly from other popular horror series of the time... but it isn’t like almost all of the later movies weren’t prone to this as well.  This movie in particular ends up owing a lot of debt to The Exorcist and The Omen, focusing - as the title makes clear - on possession, rather than on the normal goings-on you’d find in a typical haunted house story.  Here is a movie that oftentimes smacks you in the face with what it has stolen rather than subtly adding bits and pieces in here and there to achieve greater effect.  Still, by the end it has all melded into an entertaining curio of a movie and something all horror buffs will feel compelled to own in one edition or another.  Much like the case was with Amityville 3-D, this Sanctuary edition feels like a luxury car of the DVD world; and even with a mediocre movie like this, you’ll probably still be showing off these editions of the films with pride.  The care taken to release these films properly will not go unnoticed by the import crowd who seek the best they can get out of their DVDs.


Damiano Damiani, who has typically directed lesser-known Italian horror fare over the years, directed this particular entry.  His best-known accomplishment is probably the 1967 spaghetti western - A Bullet For The General.  Another prime and noteworthy film within that genre which was directed by Damiani would be A Genius, Two Partners And A Dupe; a Sergio Leone produced feature that included a score by Ennio Morricone.  Outside of those two films, you won’t find much else within the reaches of popular or even semi-popular knowledge.  Because of this, it’s unusual that he was ever selected to direct this film at all.  But to be honest, the chosen directors for each of the theatrical releases in the Amityville series were all fairly obscure ones.  The exception to this was for the third film - but even with that, Richard Fleischer hadn’t had many noteworthy projects for several years until being called in for a few big-name Dino De Laurentiis productions.  In the end though, all did what needed to be done and pulled off a triad of decent horror films.


As good news for those looking to pick up Sanctuary’s releases of the second and third films in the series to compliment MGM’s dandy newer release of The Amityville Horror, both films are region-free.  The only catch is that you need a player that can convert PAL to NTSC - but there’s a decent chance that your current player can already handle that task.  If not, it’s up to you to track down the player that best suits your needs, but the search is well worth it in order to acquire this far superior release of the film.  To start with, the movie looks excellent and sports a new 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that is at the very least a marginal improvement over the recent MGM edition.  The sound quality is also very good, and you’ll have the choice of either the original Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track, or a newly created Dolby 5.1 surround track.  Both sound excellent - and again, there is an improvement in this department as well over the aforementioned stateside release.


The bonus features contained here are where this DVD really begins to take off in the right direction.  You get everything from lobby cards and a booklet detailing certain aspects of the film’s production and release, to an excellent commentary track with movie critics Kim Newman and Stephen Jones.  This track is fun to listen to, and is very informative - essential listening for everyone who buys this edition.  However, as good as it is - it isn’t quite stack up to the one found on Amityville 3-D... it just seems that they were more on the ball later in the day when that one was recorded.  Looking for the best version of this movie stops here, and if you decide to splurge on it instead of opting for the U.S. boxed set, you’re sure to be pleased with what you’ll have paid for.  If interested in purchasing a copy of this movie, we recommend checking out Xploited Cinema.  Accessing their site can be done through heading to www.xploitedcinema.com, where you‘ll find a window to the vast market of foreign and some of the more obscure stateside DVD releases.  Hopefully you’ll be impressed enough that you become a regular visitor to the site, and a regular customer as well.



-   David Milchick


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